Putting Line On A Fishing Reel (7 Easy Steps For Everyone)

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, there will come a time when you will have to put a new line on the reels. All you have to do is tie the knot and wrap it around the reel’s spool. If they are not set up correctly, the fishing line can break, twist or become tangled.

So, now let’s move on to the “7 Easy Steps For Everyone putting line on a fishing reel” article. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes if you follow our steps.

How Many Types Of Fishing Line

Before you can determine how many lines to use, you must first understand the various types of fishing lines used by anglers. So, there are four following different types:

  • Monofilament: Monofilament line is made of nylon polymer strands and is one of the most affordable fishing lines. This material may deteriorate if exposed to direct sunlight. For the best results, anglers should replace the Monofilament line at least once a season.
  • Fluorocarbon: A fluorocarbon fishing line is more developed than a monofilament fishing line. Similar to braided lines, you should replace this fishing line every couple of years.
  • Copolymer: A copolymer line is an improved version of a monofilament line made of two different types of nylon polymers. On the other hand, the monofilament line is made of a single nylon polymer material.
  • Braided Line: Braided line is used in some situations due to its high knot strength, lack of stretch, and overall power about its diameter. This type of line is well-known because this fishing line is more durable than others. For the same strength, a braided line can be much longer on a spool than a monofilament or fluorocarbon line.

Related post: Choosing The Right Types Of Fishing Reels

Things To Prepare Before Putting Line On A Fishing Reel

Gather all the necessary tools and materials:

  • Lines: Select a line with suitable capacity (The line capacity is somewhere on your spool. If you can’t find it there, look for the instructions for use on the box or the company’s website).
  • Line cutters or a pair of scissors: To cut excess lines.
  • Silicone spray and a clean cloth (not required): Some anglers spray silicone on the cloth to hold the line when whining to avoid burning hands.
  • Electrical tape (not required): Some anglers use it to attach the line to the reel. But you can knot instead.

Once you have everything in place, you’re ready to put a line on a fishing reel.

How To Put Line On A Fishing Reel (Step-By-Step Instructions)

This section guides you step-by-step on how to place a line on the reel, which you can do alone and without anyone’s assistance.

Step 1: Attach The Line To The Fishing Rod

The 7 following steps will be a lot easier if the line is already on the rod.

So first, you attach the reel to the fishing rod:

  • Don’t assemble all the parts. Just have one line for the guide line.
  • Take the line out of the spool and run the line towards the reel through the first guide (the large one mounted closest to the reel seat)

Step 2: Open The Bail

We have to write it as a separate step because many anglers forget to open the bail.

  • If you forget to open the bail, you’ll have to come back here after carefully attaching the line to the spool.
  • So, open your bail before doing anything else. Then, flip the bail’s small handle upside down to open it.

Related post: How Does A Bail-less Spinning Reel Work

Step 3: Attach The Line To The Reel Spool

If this is the first time you put the line on your fishing reel, there are many ways you can tie the line. The easiest one is to use an arbor knot:

  • Wrap the line around the spool. Make sure to cross enough vertical lines.
  • Make an overhand knot around the mainline with the vertical line.
  • Make another knot with the rest of the line.
  • Tighten each loop and then tighten the first ring as close to the spool as possible.

In case you replace the old line on your fishing reel:

  • Use the Uni knot to connect the old line to the new line. This tip can save you less new line to fill the reel.

Related post: How To Spool A Spinning Reel: Tips To Put Line On A Spinning Reel

Step 4: Slowly Start Winding Line Onto The Reel

The purpose of the bail is to distribute the line evenly:

  • Make sure to close the bail after you’ve secured the line to the spool
  • Get the line between your thumb and index finger
  • Then, start fishing the handle slowly

The trick is: Don’t whine too fast. If you whine fast as you’re bringing the line through, you might burn your fingers.

  • Apply enough pressure when you spin to keep the line from twisting
  • Make sure the reel is lined up on the reel in even turns
  • Wind the line slowly enough to control it but fast enough to keep tangle-free
  • Keep this pace and make sure the bail is doing its job
  • After 10 spins, lower the bar to relax the line and observe the string near the spool on the floor.

Step 5: Watch Your Spool Orientation

It’s the moment of the truth. You’ll see either thing:

  • Loose lines will rest on the floor in pleasant and comfortable loops: If you get results like this, congratulations. You can continue to rotate and do not need to adjust any more twist points. The rope has entered very deep and ensures a comfortable winding.
  • The coils twist themselves into very tangled-looking coils: In this case, you need to turn the spool over and reassemble it from step 4.

Make sure the spool is facing the correct direction to avoid twisting the current. As a rule, you need to position the spool so that the line runs opposite to the spool. For example, if the reel windings are clockwise, the line must go out of the reel counterclockwise.

Therefore, you must carefully check the winding direction of the spool. The easiest way to avoid confusion is:

  • Place a finger on the spool and rotate the handle
  • Hold the spool as if you were using it for real
  • Turn the wheel 2-3 times to determine if the reel turns clockwise or counterclockwise

Step 6: Crank Until The Reel Spool Is Full

Now you have to finish what you’re doing:

  • Keep winding it on the spool there until it’s full. What “full” means is not overfilled the max capacity (just to the edge slightly below the edge of the reel itself)
  • Keep winding it on and get close to that point (within 1/8 to 3/16 inch of spool edge)

Step 7: Secure The Line On The Spool

Once you’re done Step 6, double-check everything one last time:

  • Check if the line is tangled after you stop the pressure
  • Check if the line is tight in the spool

If everything is fine:

  • Cut the excess line with scissors or line cutters
  • Use a clip, swivel, or lure to secure the free end of your line and prevent the line from slipping
  • Wrap a rubber band around the spool

Finally, you can thread the line through the rest of the guide and tie it to a bait (even when not in use).

Tips To Put Line On A Fishing Reel

Tip 1: Make sure the line spool is not anti-clockwise

The easiest way to determine the correct direction is to hold the reel like you are fishing and spin it a few times to determine the direction of the revolution so that it rotates in the correct clockwise direction. It will prevent the line from twisting and the line winding into the clockwise rotation shaft.

Tip 2: Pass the rope through the lower eyes of the rod and fix it

Pull the cable into the spool like you are fishing. You tie a tree knot to fix the line to the spool. Trim the excess string and leave ¼ inch of the spare line from where you tied the knot.

Tip 3: During reeling, if there is an old fishing line on the spool, discard it

Tip 4: Put the line to enter the reel correctly

It would be best to lay the spool flat on the floor with the label facing up so that the cord exits the spool in the same direction as it enters the reel. However, if the line is twisted or not aligned when the label is facing up, turn it upside down.
The thing to keep in mind is that for the braided fishing line, it will probably just swing around the spool and not spool into your spool. You may need to use a piece of monofilament at this point to keep the twine from fishing.

Tip 5: Hold the line with your hands and spin the reel slowly

You use your fingers to hold the line at a distance of 12 inches (30cm) above the reel, then spin the reel slowly about 20 times and keep the rope sliding through your fingers. Then stop fishing so the line overlaps and check if the cable is twisted. If crooked, detach the line from the reel and re-align. And always keep the string from the finger holding to the rotation taut when loading the series into the revolution.

Tip 6: Add the line and after 20-30 turns

After you have checked and made sure the line is not twisted, you can continue to add the line and after 20-30 turns, stop to check if the line is twisted.

Tip 7: Continue fishing the reel until it is full 1/8 inch from the rim

It will be overloaded or tangled if you roll too much. Therefore, you should only move enough lines into the rotation and leave the excess 1/8 inch (0.32cm) from the rim. You have enough lines to use at this level, even if you have to cut a large chunk of the line.

Tip 8: Leave some extra to secure the lure

Once you have enough line, use a line cutter and cut the part close to the spool. Leave some extra to secure the lure, and you can also use the magnet or clip to secure the excess to prevent the line from sliding over the guides.


All anglers should know how to take care of their equipment. Putting line on a fishing reel without twisting is a fundamental skill that any angler should have.

The process looks complicated, but don’t worry. It’s like riding a bicycle because once you know how to do it, you’ll never forget it. Just make sure that you follow the steps in this article.

Read more: Best Spinning Reel Under $100 (Top 9 Spinning Reels For Fishing)